Archive for category W

Welcome to The FAVORS Glossary!


Thank you for your patience.


The FAVORS Glossary is a list of popular feedback comments professors write within the margins of student essays.

The glossary grows from a primary concern for college students who struggle with the process of revising academic papers. It serves as a comprehensive solution to bridge the communication gap between English professors and students of writing and research papers. It answers the question, “What does my professor mean by this?”

The mission of the glossary is to provide the definitions of common margin comments English professors use as grading tools; serve as an online, self-help resource for both English professors and for students; suggest and design practical methods for teaching revision; and start a national dialogue where students can “add” comments professors have used to grade their papers.

The FAVORS Glossary functions as an online teaching blog.

Unique Features

The FAVORS Glossary online teaching blog derives from the writing textbook titled “The FAVORS Glossary: Guide to Using Margin Comments for Revising Academic Papers (Self-Help Version). The textbook is currently in development for print publication and commercial distribution.

Both the print and online version house over 150 margin comments; practical teaching and academic life tips; in-class group activity worksheets (printable); and revision tasks to help students develop revision planning objectives.

The glossary functions similarly to the university English department’s “drop-in writing tutor.” Therefore, it is conversational in tone.

To be sure, the glossary is not research-based. Instead, it uniquely represents a self-help tool for college writers of research papers. It grows from  the personal experiences of our teachers and students of English and writing.


The mission of The FAVORS Glossary is to provide a uniform code of margin comments and close the communication gap between teacher and student.

Our goal is to serve as the premier online resource for college writers who struggle with understanding and applying margin comments during the revision writing process.


The FAVORS Glossary presents margin comments as blog teaching posts, which include both content and references to parts of a student’s sample paper on Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” and additional essays.

A margin comment post falls under a particular category and may include a figure represented as an essay excerpt or a checklist; and/or a table. With this in mind, we provide links between margin comments, figures, tables, and categories. Some of the figures form the basis for group/homework activity worksheets. They are practical teaching tools for ushering in-class peer group discussions.

The glossary provides Analysis Revision Tasks where students will learn how to correct papers for logic, chronology, cohesion, and supporting evidence.

The glossary also offers academic life tips and additional practical teaching tools in the form of case studies.

About the Author

Regina Y. Favors is the author of The FAVORS Glossary.

Ms. Favors currently serves as the President and Editorial Director of Favors Writing Management, a content development and communications management company specializing in professional writing, editing, and blog management solutions. FWM is the commercial services arm of Favors Learning Center (FLC), a learning management solutions company.

Ms. Favors is the CEO and Chief Instructional Designer of FLC. Ms. Favors is responsible for the design of educational support services and curriculum development solutions for government and local business industries.

Ms. Favors first wrote the glossary as quick-reference checklists for drop-in writing tutors of various university and college campuses. Through careful planning, Ms. Favors subsequently evolved the checklists into a writing textbook companion, which primarily functions as an off-campus tutor.


Favors Learning Center designs the content and structure of The FAVORS Glossary.

Favors Writing Management designs and manages the online distribution of content.


The FAVORS Glossary is currently in development.

Although we have added all of the comments and figures, we continue to revise content for grammar, logic, and graphic visibility. We are in the process of adding links between figures and PDF and Word documents.

We are also adding more “Guide” pages (linkable) to help teachers and students understand the structure of the glossary so that material is easily retrievable.

Bear with us as we develop the blog to maximize its fullest potential.

Feel free to click on any one of the categories to access information about a comment.

Use the “Guide” tab to help you locate information quickly.

The “Index” tab houses links to all of the comments; we have alphabetized them to help students locate a comment that might apply to their papers.

We are grateful that you stopped by and please visit us again. Tell a friend about The FAVORS Glossary.

Have a great day!



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Well Written and Researched

Although this comment represents an affirmative reply, to understand it, follow the directions below. Do each one, even if you just create one sentence.


  • Write out the following sentence below on the lines.  John is ugly and nasty.


  • Write down your telephone number.


  •  Write in to your apartment complex in order to complain about an ongoing problem that the company hasn’t fixed yet. Put today’s date at the top of the letter. For now, practice here. You only need one sentence or a few words.

Today’s Date:  _______________________________





  • Write off your vacuum cleaner. Go buy another one.


1) When you wrote the first sentence John is ugly and nasty, did you deviate in any way? If you forgot the period at the end of the sentence, then you did not write exactly word for word what you saw on the page.

2) Did you write your telephone number? If you didn’t, you did not follow the directions and put action to the words.

3) Did you write out your complaint to your apartment complex? If you did not, then you just procrastinated.

4) Did you go out and buy a vacuum cleaner? If you did not, then good for you. If you did, then good for you. The result of either action would be fine for this discussion.

The purpose of this exercise was to show you your attitude. Think about the following:

  • In some cases, you found one activity probably stupid by saying aloud something such as the following: I’m not giving her my phone number. I don’t want anyone to know my number.
  • You found another activity probably as urgent: She was thinking just what I was thinking.  Yes, I do need to get that toilet fixed.
  • You found another activity as probably confusing: I don’t even know who John is.
  • Last, you found another activity as probably crazy of me to ask: I don’t have any money to buy a vacuum cleaner. I have a good vacuum cleaner and I don’t need another one.

You will undoubtedly experience many of these feelings when you approach the task of writing about a subject you have never encountered. You will feel that the subject is confusing, crazy, urgent, and probably stupid all at once. These are all of your attitudes; and you have a right to them. However, what makes a paper receive the comment “Well Written & Researched” from a professor is dependent upon the attitude of the writer developing the paper and what the finished product reveals about the writer’s attitude.

A professor knows 1) when you like the subject, 2) when you are confused by it, 3) when your attitude seeps through the page as your professor reads, 4) when you have only studied the subject for one or two days, 5) when you think that the subject is worth studying, 6) when you think that the subject is stupid and that nothing can be written about it, and 7) when you do the assignment out of mere obligation to a requirement versus do the assignment because the subject has sparked some interest.

A professor experiences what you experience as he or she reads your paper. The professor feels a multitude of emotions too. A professor doesn’t like to read a paper that demonstrates a student’s distaste of the subject or the task of writing. It doesn’t matter if you like the subject, if you hate it, if you think that it is all-around great! The only thing that matters is your genuine consideration of the subject and what you produce as a result.

With this in mind, examine the subject, in its varieties, multiplicities, changes, deviations, and effectiveness. Evaluate the subject in the same way that you would evaluate a person. Examine the subject to test its fitness, to understand its complexity, to mull over its connection to other subjects, to figure out its nature, and to pick apart at its belief systems. There is more to the task of writing than the mere feeling “I have to write this paper.”

Likewise, there is more to the task of revising than just checking for grammar. Analyze your own statements. As you revise your papers, ask yourself questions: Why do you use “have to” as if the task of writing and/or revising is burdensome? If you can answer this question, then ask more: Why am I in school? What is my purpose? Why do I need this class? All of these questions and more will help you to develop a subject. Place a title on it and you have the beginnings of a paper.

When your professor writes “Well Written & Researched,” it is more of a testament to your attitude about the subject matter versus a testament to your ability to write, research, and synthesize material. These are all of the things you are supposed to do. You can’t get extra credit for doing what you are supposed to do. Your attitude toward the task of writing and your professor’s attitude toward your paper, after reading it, will match if you have approached the task with the feeling of wanting to know more and more about your subject.

If you like your subject, it will show up in the final product. If you don’t like your subject, this will also show up in the final product. The comment “Well Written & Researched” is a testament to your ability not only to allow sufficient time to researching and writing, but also more importantly your ability to take a subject, even if you don’t like it, and present it well, with much passion, fervor, and potential.

The comment also refers to the presence of unbalanced views within the essay. For example, as you develop a revision plan, search for those areas of the essay that reflect personal bias. In addition, search for those areas where you use the bias of an author to form the greater part of your analysis. You must balance views. If you want to keep the author’s quote that reflects personal bias on the topic, then balance this view with another author’s quote.

If you have a personal bias, and you include an author with a personal bias, then you will develop a product that is one-sided. Your paper will appear actually unfinished, because you haven’t explored the topic fully. In this case, your paper will not reflect a fully written, well-researched piece of work. Keep all of these ideas in mind as you revise your papers and ensure that they fully meet the requirements of your professor and the essay prompt.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Well Done

This comment represents an affirmative reply. Most students who receive this comment typically write papers that are clearly distinguishable (i.e. in quality, effort, critical thinking) from the other students’ papers in the class, but this is a simplistic explanation.

To best illustrate what your professor means by this comment, I have provided an example on the subject of baking. Study the example and the explanation that follows. The sample is subject to U.S. copyright law and is only displayed here for educational purposes.

Figure 87: Sample Instructions for “JIFFY” Corn Muffin Mix

Yield 6-8 muffins depending on size


1 pkg. JIFFY Corn Muffin Mix (box)

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease muffin pans or use paper baking cups.

BLEND ingredients.  Batter will be slightly lumpy.  (For maximum crown on muffins let batter rest for 3 or 4 minutes, restir before filling cups.)

FILL muffin cups ½ full.

BAKE 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Source:  Chelsea Milling Company,

To really understand this example, buy a JIFFY Corn Muffin box and follow the instructions on the box, which are the same above. According to JIFFY, all of the ingredients above are necessary for the mix to become corn muffins. If the egg was not necessary, for example, then other words such as “just add water” would be on the box. One ingredient not added during the mixing process will result in a product that is not completely done.

The batter must be baked at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. If the batter is cooked for only 12 minutes at 400 degrees, then the batter will not be completely done when you take it out of the oven. In other words, you will not have corn muffins. Remember what your mother used to say: Stick a fork in it and see if it is done. You know when a batter is done when you stick a fork into it and there isn’t wet batter on the fork. When it’s done, the mix will be dry. If any of these steps are not followed as instructed, then you will NOT have corn muffins for dinner.

Why offer “cooking corn muffins” as an example for this comment? This is the best illustration because it is important to follow instructions. This is the simplest way we can help you understand the value of instructions. Everything has a set of instructions. If you want to learn a certain computer program, you read the instructions. If you want to program your VCR, you read the instructions. If you want to play video games, you read the instructions on how to hook up the joystick and other controllers. If you want to bake a cake, ride a bike, do your taxes, drive a car, watch a movie, call someone on the phone, do anything on this earth for that matter, YOU READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! You cannot negotiate life without reading the instructions.

Likewise, you cannot write your papers without understanding first your professor’s instructions. If your professor instructs you to incorporate (BLEND) ten reference sources within your paper and you incorporate only eight, then your paper is not done. If your professor instructs you to double-space the paper, and you single-space it, then your paper is not done. If your professor instructs you that your paper must be at least 15 pages (FILL) and you have only 14 pages, then your paper is not done. Last, if you work (BAKE) on a paper that is supposed to be 15 pages for only a day, then your paper is not done. If you do anything other than what your professor instructs you to do, then your paper is not done.

In other words, all of the ingredients you do have cannot mix together to become the paper that the professor has instructed you to make. When you do exactly what the professor instructs you to do, how he or she wants you to do it, for the approximate amount of time he or she thinks it should take, then your paper is done. You have followed the instructions.

Now here comes the “but”! Just because the paper is done, doesn’t mean that it is complete. You can follow the instructions of your professor and mix all of the ingredients and still forget to add analysis. Of course, the instructions on the JIFFY box don’t use the word “analyze” in reference to watching the batter in the oven like a hawk. However, it does use the words “BAKE 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.” The muffins are complete at both the 15-20 minutes increment and at the stage of “golden brown.” In other words, if you choose to take the muffins out at 15 minutes or 20 minutes, you can do this without being penalized from the stove. You can also take the muffins out at “golden brown.” The difference between the two is that at “golden brown,” the muffins are well done!

You can follow the instructions of your professor and write a paper according to the way the professor wants it. You can mix all of the ingredients of thesis, topic sentences, examples, quotes, body paragraphs, conclusion, and anything else that your professor says to mix together and bake, and your paper will be done. However, if you add in analysis to make the paper “golden brown,” then your paper will be well done!

We know that you want to ask this next question, so we will ask it for you: Can we add to the instructions? No. Your professor expects you to do what he or she tells you to do. Don’t take away from the instructions. Don’t add to them. However, at the college level, it is a given that most of your papers will be in the form of analysis in the same way that it is a given that in order for the mix to become muffins they must be placed in the stove to cook. This is a given. If you don’t understand this, then you will not be successful at cooking muffins, let alone homemade biscuits.

Similarly, if you don’t understand that analysis is an important ingredient to your paper, then you will not be successful at finishing a paper, let alone revising it. Make sure that your papers are done. In other words, use the professor’s instructions as a pre-writing to-do list and as a post-writing checklist. Hold the professor’s instructions in one hand and your paper in another and go down each line of both lists to make sure that you have followed instructions, first, and to make sure that your paper is fully cooked (done), second.

Your mother tells you to take out the trash, but instead you wash the dishes. You say to your mother, “I did something extra. I did the dishes.” However, you did not do the first thing your mother told you to do. Just because you do something extra doesn’t mean you have done exactly what mom has told you to do. Follow the first instruction. Don’t substitute. Likewise, just because you add in an extra paragraph with nice and appropriate examples doesn’t mean you have done the job your professor has instructed you to do through the essay prompt. You were supposed to use 10 sources (bibliography), two tales from the Canterbury Tales, two characters from each tale, and two examples of things that “each character” does. Adding one character and an analysis of three tales is not following the first instructions of your professor.

Make sure the paper is done the way the professor wants it. With this in mind, you will garner a “well done” from your professor when you analyze the two tales, when you analyze the 10 sources you incorporate into the analysis, when you analyze each character from each of the two tales, and when you analyze the two example things that each character does. Don’t just analyze two paragraphs and leave the rest of the paper to plot summary.

Therefore, the best way to achieve a “Well Done” from your professor, in addition to the instructions above, is to develop a relationship with the characters you want to include in your paper. What do you like about them? What don’t you like about them? What makes you mad? What makes you happy? Why do you think that these characters are in the right roles within the story? Why do you think they would be better in another role within the story?

Now think about how the author presents them. What do you think is the author’s reason behind placing one character in one position and another character in another position? Do you think the author has been wise in his or her assessment of each character or do you think the author has been wise in presenting how another character thinks about the character you are discussing within your analysis?

Pick at the characters. Pick at the author. Think about the context, the time period, the language, the tone, and the larger implications. Revise your papers to make the professor remember your analysis as different from every other student. For extended explanations, see also the comments “Excellent Synthesis,” “Incomplete,” and “Nice/Nicely Done.”

For extended explanations, see also the comments “Excellent Synthesis,” “Incomplete,” and “Nice/Nicely Done!

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Write Complete Sentences

See the comments “Active Voice/Passive Voice,” “Incomplete,” “Makes No Sense,” “Must be a Sentence,” and “Sentence Sense.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Wordy Phrasing

In the following sample excerpt, the student uses elevated wording to convey meaning within the literary text.

Although the student uses this wording, it is clear that she doesn’t understand how it relates to the ideas within the literary work. In addition, the student personifies the theme, but doesn’t outline how she will use the term as personified within the analysis of her work. Let’s read the excerpt.

Sample Excerpt

The theme of “concord” runs rampant through A Homily of the State of Matrimony and The Taming of the Shrew.  As the homily suggests, matrimony is declared and instituted by God.  God expects man and woman to live in a “perpetual friendship” avoiding all levels of lust and fornication, rejecting the notion to go against the will of God.  But within this theme of concord various levels are inherent.  A Homily presents these levels by first examining the prerequisites of marriage.  For example, if concord is preserved within marriage, then husband and wife can obtain mercy from God.  And because God ordains marriage, He sets the criteria.  In this respect, marriage is a gift from Him.  The role of man and woman within the context of concord sets up the next level.  Women are considered weak creatures, incapable of strength and constant behavior.  So, it follows that concord can be initiated and reached only through the man.  The homily requires that the man nourish concord.  The third and final level of concord centers on the devil’s opposition and the need of prayer.  The devil is discord.  This analysis will center the play around the homily by examining levels of concord within Petruchio’s speech to Kate coupled with the homily’s definition and assertion of concord.

Figure 69: Essay Excerpt on Petruchio, “Homily on the State of Matrimony,” William Shakespeare


1) How can a theme “run rampant”? Is it your purpose to personify this theme?

2) How does the Homily define “concord”? Where is the in-text evidence of the Homily’s suggestion?

3) Does the Homily suggest that man and woman both live in perpetual friendship and avoid all levels of lust and fornication?

4) Does the Homily present a clear picture of the “will of God”? Or does the analysis represent a contemporary assessment of a 17th century context?

5) What are the actual levels that the Homily presents?

 Revision Considerations

Revise those sentences where you apply personification.

Here’s a general rule: Don’t do anything within your analysis that the literary text doesn’t do. For example, if the author uses personification as part of his right in terms of poetic license, then you also have permission to do the same within your analysis. In this instance, your analysis parallels the structure and context of the author’s work. However, if the author calls one character one thing, and you call the same character something else, then your analysis is not a full and complete reflection of the author’s work.

A theme can’t “run rampant.” In the same vein, if the author doesn’t present marriage as embodying levels, then you also can’t do the same within your analysis. “God expects man and woman to live in a ‘perpetual friendship’ avoiding all levels of lust and fornication . . .” is a modern-day construct. This concept is biblical and is applicable both to ancient and contemporary thinking. However, the sentence itself reflects present-day ideals.

If this type of sentence was true for the context of the work, then provide both in-text evidence and critical perspective to validate your claims. Whatever source the main author (or the critical theorist) uses, refer to that resource. Locate the sentence within the source that best reflects the context of the work and thinking of that time period. Otherwise, your analysis will just appear wordy for the sake of fulfilling the page count your professor requires.

For extended explanations, see also the comments “Could Be Better Worded” and “Phony (Wordy).”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Wording Makes This Hard to Follow

In the following sample excerpt, the student doesn’t understand the basic function of a grammatical sentence.

In other words, the student doesn’t understand the subject of the sentence and what she wants the subject to do. Let’s read the excerpt.

Sample Excerpt

Bronte’s choice of language for the two narrators is clear, that they exhibit uncertainty in their interpretation but it is in Heathcliff that Bronte uses the most explicit language of her time.

Figure 68: Essay Excerpt on Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights


1) To whom does “they” refer? As is, the “choice of language” for this sentence serves as the primary subject of the sentence.

2) What is Bronte’s choice of language? What specific words does she choose? What language do the narrators speak?

3) What is the uncertainty of the narrators? What does their uncertainty represent?

4) Why is Heathcliff’s language explicit?

5) What does Heathcliff say?

6) To whom does Heathcliff say something explicitly?

Revision Considerations

Perform a simple grammar test. Check your pronoun references and sentence structure. Make certain that whatever you want the subject to do that the subject is actually performing that action. In addition, differentiate the verbs between the subjects of a single sentence.

After you have performed the grammar test and revised those areas, check phrasing. If you are using particular phrasing to convey meaning of a literary work, be certain that it is the type of phrasing applicable within the context of the work. Contemporary terms don’t apply to all contexts, especially historical ones of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In addition, be careful to use idioms and colloquialisms as bases for your analysis. Remove clichés and modern-day phrasing. Research the phrasing of that time period and use it instead.

For extended explanations, see also the comments “Could Be Better Worded” and “Hard to Follow.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Winnow, Winnow, Winnow

Today is laundry day!

On this day, you sort out all of the clothes by placing the colors together and by separating the colors from the whites; but you don’t just separate one piece of dirty clothing from another piece. This isn’t the only process you go through before you begin washing. You also separate dirty clothes from the clean ones.

For example, when you begin to collect clothes from closets and a shirt or two from your drawer, socks from your tennis shoes, the cotton jacket hanging from behind the chair, and a blanket that needs washing, you separate the old and dirty from the ready to wear and the clean. Not every piece of clothing needs washing. After all you may have just washed last week. However, you still need to separate the ones that need washing from the ones that are already cleaned. This is your primary motivation whether you know it or not.

You mentally process what you need to do. Then, what you say is “I need to wash!” However, what you really mean is “I need to wash. There are too many dirty clothes everywhere. I know this shirt needs cleaning. I just wore it yesterday. I had this in the closet since yesterday. I need to get these dirty clothes out of here. I won’t know which is which.” To say these words might take too long, so instead we just say “I need to wash.”

This is a simple enough illustration. Let’s move to another example concerning farming.

A thresher (farmer) separates grain from its husk by beating out the grain. The husk is a dry and useless covering over the grain. After the threshing process, the farmer separates the chaff, which now represents the husks, from the grain. Through a process of winnowing, the chaff is blown away from the grain by the wind. At the end, the farmer keeps the grain, but the chaff becomes useless.

With these two examples in mind, when you receive the comment “Winnow, Winnow, Winnow,” your professor is telling you that the parts within your paper, the ones that are functioning appropriately, are mixed with useless parts, parts that don’t really serve a purpose. Your professor may easily write “relevance” in the margins next to the part of your paragraph that needs further elaboration. Professors typically write this comment after a full read of your paper.

Parts that don’t serve a purpose may represent an 1) example that really doesn’t connect to the overall theme of your paper; 2) an incorporated quote that is out of context, one that has no real bearing on the subject matter; 3) wording that needs rephrasing or deleting altogether; 4) repetition; and/or 5) an overdependence upon quotes.

When you approach your paper with the purpose of deleting the excess, you must approach it in the same way as you do your laundry.  You know what’s dirty and you know what’s clean. You can see the dirt on the blouse or the pants. Likewise, the dirt within the paper may represent simple syntax problems, incomplete sentence structures, and related grammatical issues. Separating the useless from the useful is easy in this regard. However, when you can’t see the dirt, when you can’t see that you have flooded your paper with quotes and that it also lacks analysis, then you have to begin the winnowing process.

In this regard, whereas a farmer separates the husks from the grain by beating out the husks and blowing them away, the student writer must examine his or her paper carefully with the sole purpose of getting rid of useless parts first! In other words, if you try to save both the good along with the bad, then you will be in danger of keeping both for the sake of not letting go. No student likes to delete a quote that takes up a significant amount of space on the page; if the student have to delete the quote, then he or she will be forced to come up with something else, such as analysis.

In addition, some useless parts may represent both relevant and irrelevant quotes. Even if a quote fits your paper perfectly, there are times when it may not necessarily be relevant enough to keep.

When you can approach the winnowing task with the purpose of seeking and removing the useless parts, then you are left with useful parts, the areas of the paper that serve a real function. In other words, don’t be afraid to let go of a quote. In the place of that quote, add more evaluation. This will help to improve your analysis.

Although you have learned that sometimes a quote or another useless part may need deletion, your task is not over yet. Since you are left with the good and functioning parts, now you must perform a last review to see if what you do have is relevant enough to keep.

These parts are no longer dirty parts; in the same way you determine if a pair of pants is worthy enough to keep one week longer from dry cleaning, determine if a good example is appropriate enough to keep. Can your analysis do without it? By adopting this method, you are analyzing your analysis. Therefore, perform this type of analysis for each section of your paper. Evaluate your paper prior to submitting the final draft of the essay.

For an extended explanation, see also the comment “Delete.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Wrong Word

Using the wrong word is common. We create errors when we don’t make use of a dictionary and/or thesaurus. The best way to correct this error is to think about the sock analogy.

Every sock has a match. No one person just buys one sock. In comparison, the word you choose must match the overall meaning you want to convey within your sentence.

For extended explanations, see also the comments “This Quote is out of Context, “Could Be Better Worded,” “Rephrase,” and “Rephrase (Not Clear).”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Word Choice

In the following sample excerpt, the student personifies “presence.” Always think about the subject of your sentence. Now what do you want the subject to do? Let’s read the excerpt.

Sample Excerpt

The scenario presented by Killoran is such that if Lily should break any laws applied randomly by Mrs. Peniston, she is expelled from her aunt’s world.  But the presence of Selden dismisses these laws and introduces the idea of chance and doubt.

Figure 59: Essay Excerpt on Killoran, Lily, and Selden, The House of Mirth


1) How are laws applied randomly within the context of the story?

2) How does the presence of Selden “dismiss” the laws?

3) What does Selden do?

4) What does he represent?

5) What is his social position?

Revision Considerations

Always review the definition of the type of word you want to use within the context of your essay. Not every word fits or is appropriate. In order to know whether a word is suitable, you have to understand the literary work. You have to know the characters, context, and relationships. Only then will you be able to determine the proper use of a word.

For an extended explanation, see also the comment “Could Be Better Worded.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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What Author/What Authors

The student plagiarizes in the sample excerpt. She hasn’t provided a reference source to check the quote nor has she placed open and close quotation marks around the words. Let’s review the sample.

Sample Excerpt

Carl von Clausewitz, a great philosopher of war, wrote “On War.”  This unfinished classic is arguably the definitive treatment of the nature and theory of war (Authors).

Figure 43: Essay Excerpt on Carl von Clausewitz


Placing the word “Authors” in parenthesis represents improper use of MLA citation standards.

Revision Considerations

Go back and research to find out “who” said these words.

Always make sure to remember to cite your sources, because this is important. Give credit to your authors. They have worked hard to write books and articles, and related works. You do an author a disservice when you take his or her words and use them as your own.

See also the comments “Good Use of Quote,” “Introduce the Quote,” and “Misquoting the Evidence” for extended explanations.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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